Six butchers from Scotland have been named in the squad that will begin training next month in a bid to represent Great Britain in next year’s World Butchers’ Challenge (WBC) in Paris.

The three-day competition – known as the Butchery Olympics – will feature butchers from 15 countries around the globe in a series of high-level challenges designed to test the skills and experience of the best in the business.

Those stepping up for Team GB-UK Lions from Scotland are:

  • Father and son Richard and Ben Megahy from Simon Howie, Perth
  • Kirsty Neil from Scott Brothers, Dundee
  • Helena Akroyd from Bel’s Butchers, Angus
  • Ryan Tierney from Kinnaird Butchers, Larbert
  • James Mitchell from Coopers Butchers, Bellshill

Six from the 19-strong Lions squad will go forward to compete in the team competition, while a further two sets of two will be selected for the butcher apprentice showdown and the young butcher challenge on March 30 and 31.

A gala dinner in Paris on April 1 will announce the new world champions.

Team GB board chair, Simon Coles, said they had gathered some of the UK’s finest butchers to compete in this ninth biennial challenge.

“This is a global competition, the likes of which I’ve never seen before,” he said. “It genuinely puts our industry on the pedestal it deserves, showcasing the true tradition and skillset of butchery.

“In the story of British field to fork, butchery is often missed out. This competition gives us a spotlight on everything this industry does for our food system.”

The team’s vice chair Gordon King, head of Scottish Craft Butchers, said having six butchers from north of the border in the training squad was testament to the high level of talent within the industry in Scotland.

“Our butchers have the skill and temperament to pit themselves against the best in the world,” he said.

“I know most of these butchers personally and we’re confident their individual strengths will work cohesively to create a formidable team on the world stage, covering all aspects of the challenge.”

The Scottish Farmer: UK Lions UK Lions

Gordon said that everyone in the squad showed a passion for their profession and was keen to showcase what British butchers could achieve.

“Our final ten will not only have to fight for the titles using their exceptional skills, but also act as ambassadors for the UK on a global stage, watched by the rest of the world, throughout their stay.”

The first gathering of the squad will be a training session in Brighton on May 28-29.

Perth butcher Richard Megahy (48) was in the squad two years ago but failed to make the cut for the final team. This time around he has his eye on the prize and will hopefully be accompanied by his son Ben (21) as part of the Lions heading to Paris.

“We’re both really excited to be in the squad,” said Richard.

“Our selection comes off the back of us winning the Pairs competition in the Scotland Butcher Wars last year and our selection for the World Butcher Wars in England this summer. It’s an exciting time.

“We just have to prove ourselves during training and hopefully earn our places in the final team.”

Richard is confident that Scotland’s butchers will acquit themselves well.

“It’s tremendous to see six in the squad,” he said. “We have some fantastic butchers here and a wealth of skills, talent, innovation, determination and experience that would see us challenge anyone.

“It’s all about getting it right on the day and hopefully the Lions will roar in Paris.”